There are just as many adults that suffer the effects of acne as teenagers. A topical cream for acne is a magic weapon in the fight against this frustrating condition. There are thousands of promised remedies, and you’ve likely tried many. As you’ve discovered, some work, some don’t. We’re here today to help you sort out the best acne creams available in over-the-counter strength.
Best Topical Creams for Acne - Top 12
|1. Retinol Cream Moisturizer for Acne||LilyAna Naturals||BEST PRICE|
|2. Benzoyl Peroxide Treatment||Acne.org||BEST PRICE|
|3. Acne Treatment Cream||Vie Naturelle||BEST PRICE|
|4. Cystic Acne Spot Treatment||TreeActiv||BEST PRICE|
|5. Advantage Acne Control Moisturizer||Clean & Clear||BEST PRICE|
|6. CLEAR Daily Skin Clearing Treatment||Paula’s Choice||BEST PRICE|
|7. Acne Treatment Cream||Essy||BEST PRICE|
|8. Topical Anti Acne Medication||Salica||BEST PRICE|
|9. Dermatrope Retinol Gel for Acne||DrFormulas||BEST PRICE|
|10. Topical Sulfur Ointment||Scabisil||BEST PRICE|
|11. 10% Benzoyl Peroxide Gel||Rugby||BEST PRICE|
|12. Sulfur Ointment||San Marcos||BEST PRICE|
1. Retinol Cream Moisturizer for Acne by LilyAna Naturals
LilyAna Naturals’ uses the power of retinol to fight existing acne and prevent future blemishes. Retinol is also an anti-aging ingredient, so the formula is dual-purpose. This acne medication is packed with hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid and jojoba oil so that you won’t need to use a moisturizer after treatment.
- Doesn’t dry out skin
- Fades acne and acne scars
- No sticky residue left behind after application
2. Benzoyl Peroxide Treatment by Acne.org
This acne remedy contains pharmaceutical grade benzoyl peroxide. The triple milled formula penetrates deeper into pores than other benzoyl peroxide products for faster healing. The gel-based solution goes on smoothly, absorbs quickly, and does not discolor your skin like other topical creams for acne.
- Fragrance and oil-free
- Pharmaceutical-grade strength
- May be too harsh for those with sensitive skin
3. Acne Treatment Cream by Vie Naturelle
If you’re looking for a moisturizing acne treatment cream that also uses benzoyl peroxide, look no further. This cream contains tea tree oil and witch hazel, to reduce oily skin, and acne-fighting benzoyl peroxide. Shea butter, jojoba oil, and almond oil have also been added to safeguard your skin against dryness.
- Combines benzoyl peroxide with tea tree oil and witch hazel to fight acne
- Money back guarantee
- Contains fragrance
4. Cystic Acne Spot Treatment by TreeActiv
This topical formula is for cystic acne. Unlike traditional creams, this treatment contains bentonite clay, which is applied to troubled areas and left in place for 30-minutes before rinsing. This spot treatment is effective at eliminating acne from within and preventing future outbreaks.
- All-natural ingredients
- Treats existing blemishes and prevents future outbreaks
- Reduces redness
- Contains peppermint and spearmint fragrance which may irritate skin
5. Advantage Acne Control Moisturizer by Clean & Clear
If you have minor acne and don’t require pharmaceutical-grade treatment, this cream by Clean & Clear is a smart pick. It has a low percentage of salicylic acid to combat small acne outbreaks and exfoliate the skin, and it also moisturizes to treat redness and prevent dry skin. This lotion is lightweight and non-greasy, so it can be used under makeup if desired.
- Mild treatment that does not irritate sensitive skin
- Lightweight and oil-free
- Strong chemical smell
6. CLEAR Daily Skin Clearing Treatment by Paula’s Choice
There are no harsh ingredients in this benzoyl peroxide-based topical cream for acne. The ultra-light lotion can be used twice daily for cleaning and exfoliating. This product fights stubborn acne and works to prevent breakouts. This lotion does not contain fragrance and is ideal for those with sensitive skin.
- Light lotion that can be applied under makeup
- Combats acne and associated redness
- Gentle on the skin
7. Acne Treatment Cream by Essy
This all-natural formula contains aloe vera, ginseng, witch hazel, and other plant-based ingredients. The light, gentle cream absorbs quickly and has a mild but pleasant scent. The cream excels at controlling oil, getting rid of blackheads, and preventing pimples.
- All-natural ingredients
- Leaves skin feeling fresh and clean
- Absorbs quickly
- Not recommended for stubborn acne
8. Topical Anti Acne Medication by Salica
This acne medication uses salicylic acid to exfoliate the skin and clear pores. Tea tree oil, a known all-natural antibacterial agent, reduces oil and bacteria on the skin to prevent future breakouts. This cleanser works well for acne scars, pimples, cystic acne, and blackheads.
- Shrinks pores
- Gentle formula
- Removes acne scars and acne
- Medicinal scent
9. Dermatrope Retinol Gel for Acne by DrFormulas
This remedy relies on retinol to promote skin cell turnover and fight cystic and hormonal acne, blackheads and whiteheads, and prevent future breakouts. This topical cream for acne is gel-based and clears pores well in addition to controlling oil production. This treatment can be used alongside a moisturizer to prevent skin drying.
- Gel formula absorbs quickly
- Clears pores and reduces inflammation
- Reduces the appearance of acne scars
- Not recommended for teenagers
10. Topical Sulfur Ointment by Scabisil
This sulfur ointment is effective at eradicating all types of acne. Sulfur is antibacterial, killing acne causing bacteria on the skin. It also absorbs excess oil and helps to unclog pores. This specific formula is gentle and vegan, so it’s easy on your skin and the environment.
- Reduces inflammation
- Shrinks cystic acne
- Not recommended for chronic acne
11. 10% Benzoyl Peroxide Gel by Rugby
This benzoyl peroxide formulation is made of a fast-absorbing gel. It has no unnecessary ingredients, including fragrances or dyes. The higher concentration of benzoyl peroxide in this formula makes it more effective at killing acne-causing bacteria than other products.
- Oil free
- High concentration of acne-fighting ingredients
- May be too strong for some
12. Sulfur Ointment by San Marcos
San Marcos’ acne treatment uses sulfur as its primary acne-fighting ingredient. This 10% concentration is high enough to reduce the size and inflammation of deep, cystic pimples while still being gentle on inflamed and irritated skin. It has plant-based moisturizing ingredients that soothe the skin and prevent dryness.
- Contains plant-based moisturizing ingredients
- Reduces inflammation
- Needs to be washed off after application
A Basic Skincare Routine to Follow to Reduce Acne
It was once thought that acne was the result of poor hygiene. Thanks to science, we now know that outbreaks happen to almost everyone at one time or another and have nothing to do with cleanliness. Even so, a basic skincare routine is helpful to adopt to combat existing pimples, whiteheads, blackheads, and cystic acne, and prevent future problems. Following this skin cleansing routine can help clear up your skin and keep it feeling fresh.
1. Use a Cleanser
Your face collects sweat, oil, and bacteria while you’re at work, play and rest. Many use only water to rinse their face or possibly a deodorant bar soap while they rush through the shower to cleanse the face. When you have acne, you need to use a cleanser specially formulated to treat delicate facial skin. A good cleanser will remove oil, dirt, and bacteria without leaving your skin feeling stripped and dried out.
2. Apply Topical Cream for Acne
Once you’ve found the best topical cream for acne for you, apply it at least once daily. Most topical creams are left on the skin after application and washed off with facial cleanser later in the day. Follow the instructions on the product to get the most out of the cream you choose.
3. Use Moisturizer
Not all moisturizers are laden with heavy oils that promote pimple formation. A good moisturizer for acne-prone skin will be lightweight enough to keep skin hydrated and prevent it from drying out. You should use moisturizers specifically formulated for the face, not the body.
4. Don’t Forget the Sunscreen
Good skincare routines include protection against the sun’s harmful rays. Since acne treatments can make the skin more sensitive to the sun, sunscreen is advised. Look for a sunscreen that is lightweight and not oily. If desired, you can use sunscreen in place of moisturizing cream.
5. Remember Your Medication
If you’re taking prescription medication for your acne, be sure to take it regularly. If you have trouble remembering your meds, a pill organizer can be a great help.
Different Types of Acne and Their Causes
Not all acne is treated the same. Often times, identifying the specific type of acne you have will help you choose the appropriate treatment.
This is the most common type of acne. If you’re suffering from blackheads and whiteheads, then you have noninflammatory acne.
Both blackheads and whiteheads respond well to chemical exfoliants like salicylic acid and retinoids. These ingredients speed up the skin’s renewal cycle so you’ll shed dead skin quicker, resulting in fewer clogged pores.
Inflammatory acne is harder to treat, primarily because bacteria are at play and infection may be present. Common types of inflammatory acne include cysts and pustules.
Cysts and pustules can be caused by bacteria, dead skin cells, and sebum clogging pores deep within the skin. They are typically red and inflamed, hard, and sensitive to the touch. Benzoyl peroxide treatments work well for inflammatory acne as they speed the healing process by reducing inflammation and killing acne-causing bacteria.
Acne can and does show up in areas aside from the face. The chest and back are areas frequently affected by acne growth. If you have back acne, one effective treatment is to keep your backside clean with a back scrubber. Doing this will clean the skin and exfoliate it, helping to prevent outbreaks.
Get Clear Skin with the Best Topical Cream for Acne
Acne can be embarrassing and troublesome no matter your age. Adopting a skincare routine is the first step in eradicating acne, followed by the use of a topical acne cream.